It was 10:28.
I was late. I was never late.
Every day at 10:15 we have a “stand up” at work, a quick standing meeting, sometimes just 15 minutes long, that I haven’t missed…until today.
10:28. How did I miss it? Oh yea, I remember.
Gigi had been acting up all morning, never really connecting and so not graphing my blood sugars. I had started the morning within my normal range, but at the higher end. But I was starting to feel pretty sick. With no help from Gigi, I tested my finger. 437! Shiiiiiiiiit.
I wasn’t sure how that had happened.. I went to the bathroom and first changed my set. It was close to being empty and I didn’t want to take any chances. Then I gave myself a shot. Since I don’t normally use syringes at work, I wondered if my workplace had a sharps container.
I walked to our front desk to inquire. “Do we happen to have a sharps disposal here?”
My question was returned with perplexing looks. “Like for…sharp…things?”
“Yea like needles.” Then I quickly added, “for insulin shots,” not wanting there to be any misunderstanding.
“No we don’t have one. But we can look into getting one.”
“Oh, it’s not a big deal, I can take it back home, I was just wondering.”
I started to walk away when the office manager stopped me. “Hey, one more thing. We are working on our emergency preparedness plan for the office. We are going to get cases of water, would orange juice be something that you would want us to get too?”
For some reason this question caught me by surprise. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had to be prepared. I look out for myself, never knowing when a low blood sugar might strike. I guess I wasn’t expecting that my office would want to be prepared for me specifically as well. I thought back to a few months ago when we were all stuck in the basement for 3 hours during a tornado warning. I had a few packs of fruit snacks with me, but I did worry if I ran out. It would be reassuring knowing there would be an office emergency stash.
“Um actually yea, that would be great. Orange juice is perfect for low blood sugars. Thank you!”
“We’ll be sure to pick up some and look into the sharps container.”
I thanked her and walked away, glad that I work for a company that is so understanding and accommodating. I walked back to my desk, checked my blood sugar again, and looked at my clock.
10:28. Crap. I quickly emailed my coworker, apologizing for missing the meeting and explaining that I had some diabetes issues to take care of and lost track of time. It wasn’t a lie, but at the same time I try never let my diabetes be my excuse and didn’t like using it this time. I know my diabetes is disruptive. It wakes me in the middle of the night, it stops me in the middle of my workouts, it makes me rearrange my plans. But now it had gotten in the way of my work and made me miss a meeting. I was upset at myself for losing tack of time, even if I was taking care of my health, and hoped my coworker would understand.
Thankfully I had nothing to worry about. My coworker was more concerned with my health and wellbeing than with the fact that I missed the meeting. With my blood sugar on its way down, I hoped that the worst of the day was over.
I have to say how glad I am that I work in a place and with people that are so understanding of my health condition, I know that I’m lucky. And I know diabetes isn’t the only health condition that can get in the way of people’s productivity, everything from headaches and migraines to chronic pain, allergies, and stomach issues can be just as disruptive. But I hope that this was the last time that I’ll use my diabetes as an excuse and the last meeting I’ll miss because of it.